Northern Ireland Student Blog | 28 June, 2018
Belfast’s next-gen science park is an innovative community of people changing the world. Here’s all you need to know.
It’s home to 3,000 companies
Catalyst Inc’s 3,000-strong community of engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and executives work across 200 companies including Microsoft, Citi and IBM in state-of-the-art facilities.
Profits are ploughed back into innovation
The money generated from the rent paid by these high-profile tenants supports over 600 entrepreneurs through Connect – a network of support available to promising entrepreneurs – and Capital Match, which provides funding for high growth potential companies.
Mentorship thrives here
Connect offers expert mentorship and fast-track programmes for budding entrepreneurs. Experienced entrepreneurs volunteer their time, advice and contacts, while entrepreneurs can also take advantage of the collective intelligence of a network of researchers, executives, investors and legal and financial experts.
It’s the same system that transformed San Diego into an innovative tech hub
The Connect methodology has previously been praised for reinventing San Diego as a bustling start-up and innovation hub. Steve Orr, the Director of Catalyst, brought the methodology back to Belfast directly from Californian.
Queen’s is integral to Catalyst Inc’s success
Queen’s - a first-class university with world-renowned research institutes and highly-regarded science and tech programmes - has been integral to growth of Catalyst and of the tech industry in Norther Ireland. Nowhere is this more evident than in Electronics, Communication and Information Technology Institute (ECIT) the Science Park’s research flagship.
Northern Ireland is the 2nd fastest growing Knowledge Economy in the UK
The innovative spirit of Belfast permeates the Science Park enabling start-ups and entrepreneurs to flourish and for academia, industry and commerce to exchange and develop ideas, and contribute to a vibrant knowledge economy. According to the 2017 Knowledge Economy Report, Northern Ireland is the 2nd fastest growing Knowledge Economy across the UK.
It’s built on the belief that innovation changes the world
The park is built on a heritage of creativity and invention, visible in the park’s location in the old Titanic Quarter - where the old Pump-House from the city’s shipbuilding heyday can be seen. Today, the park is transforming Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe.
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